Around 9:30 a group of normal teenagers walk out of Ant Man at the local cinema. Over the yells and criticisms of the movie they just suffered through a lone voice is heard. One of them is glancing at her phone going through the emails and social network updates.
“oh hey look at this apparently St. Mary’s didn’t hire a teacher because the catholic church does not uphold the right to gay marriage”
Teenager 1 responds
“shocking and I like how they are calling themselves out on it and just kinda rubbing it in the student bodies faces”
Teenager 2 who happens to have gay parents who are married
“What do I do? How can I continue to go to this school that won’t hire a human being solely because of their sexuality. My parents may just pull me out of the school anyway.”
Within two hours of the email going out a Twitter account was created in honor of protesting against St. Mary’s decision. The account as of current time has 100 followers. The school has only 600 students, which could possibly mean that within 2hrs 1/6 of the school has joined in disapproval of the decision. Only students and parents would have received the email so outside support could only have come from word of mouth and of course social media posting. Its crazy to think about how fast the youth could counter a decision like this and it speaks to the liberal views of my generation. They created a twitter account and sent out invitations to protest the decision immediately. The power the students have is from standing together when they see injustice, but this could be bad press for the local catholic community as well.
Not only will this effect the school, but before the year has even started some kids will feel unsafe. Within the school I was told by a student they created a S.A.F.E. club, but that it had only been made an officially recognized club last year. This is a step in the right direction and counters the move the staff made earlier this week. It poses the question: Is it just okay for students to be openly gay? and not staff? Also does this move jeopardize the safety of the LGBT community in St. Marys.
These questions arose immediately to Teenager 2 in the live description and her friend who were friends of mine thanks to summer camp. Teenager 2’s moms have been together for years and are proud to send their daughter to such an intelligent school over her only other option Wilson High School. The all girls school with a focused and intense learning environment seems to more than trump her other options. This must be compared to how the catholic teaching are affecting her learning enviorment. The effects on her were I’m sad to say emotional and tearful. A more vivid description would be a mix of frustration towards the teachers who were understanding of the LGBT community seeming to change stances on her, fear for her safety in a school run by discriminatory staff, and sadness if this means she must leave her work there and go to Wilson where they at least except her parents and her for who they are. Is this truly what education system has come to for her.
Should teenager 2 deny her parents love for each and exist within a community that doesn’t support for a better education or transfer on a whim to a more inclusive, but less competitive educating environment?
Only a day after releasing the news to their students about not hiring an openly gay teacher the school is under fire in the press. With the criticism from social media and main stream media the school has decided to do a complete one eighty. The school with be hiring their first openly gay and married teacher.
With such a quick set of counter moves in the name of equality I’ve become suspicious on reporting this. The school changed their practices with only a few days. Why send an email informing all of their liberal students that they didn’t hire an openly gay teacher? The backlash must have been anticipated and more than under anticipated. This could mean they wanted a backlash and they wanted the attention or were so out of touch that they didn’t think this would raise attention. Both theories suggest there is more to the story and I encourage you to read more articles and perspectives. This whole media fiasco was orchestrated by a school, an email, and a catholic community general belief.
Although the catholic teachings do not support equal rights those who enforce them can change, which has been shown in this case by hiring the teacher. Their backbone on this issue isn’t strong, could not be strong, because the majority loves all and wants equal rights for all humans, especially so in the work force.
I applaud St. Mary’s for creating more attention around equality in schools. Possibly they staged this event so as to hire the teacher anyway or show that can change their practices and not their believes. They may have also been strong armed by the people (especially the students who created the twitter account protesting). In any case Teenager 2 is happy, I’m happy, and there is good news.